PokerStars’ recent partnership with UFC could mean branded promotions and games that could hit tables soon. Meanwhile, PokerStars EPT Sochi begins. Check out these stories and more in the Thursday Hit and Run.

Branded UFC tables could be coming to PokerStars

Last December, PokerStars signed a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now it looks as though the top online poker room will be using the UFC brand to promote game offerings and/or promotions pokerfuse has revealed. The new UFC-branded tables apparently will come as part of PokerStars UFC Spin and Gos.

The new octagon table shape will mimic the design of the UFC shaped-ring with pokerfuse speculating that the UFC variant could utilize the knockout format. This is not the first time that PokerStars has dabbled in the promotion of a sporting event. During last year’s FIFA World Cup, the online poker introduced a football-themed Spin and Go game with increased prizes.

Quick hitters

– The PokerStars EPT Sochi event is underway. Day 1b of the ₽77,000 EPT National kicked off on Thursday after Wednesday saw 37 out of 249 players advancing to Day 2. The ₽191,800 EPT Sochi Main Event is set for March 24th to March 29th while the ₽371,000 High Roller will run from March 27th to March 29th.

888poker has unveiled their latest rake-reduced tournaments dubbed Rake or Break, an attempt to combine value and guaranteed prizes. With 888poker’s latest innovation, a target number of entries will be set for Rake or Break tournaments. If the number fails to be reached, 888poker will refund the buy-in fee to all players. If the number is hit, the target number will automatically increase by 10% the next week.

– Increasing their investment in streaming, partypoker has partnered with the No Limit Gaming stream team on Twitch. No Limit Gaming is a group of high stakes poker pros that includes Fedor Holz and Josip Simunic which aim to put poker within the eSports industry. In recent months, partypoker has joined forces with Bill Perkins’ Thirst Lounge and also signed over a dozen Twitch-focused poker pros to its new Team Online.

– Bet Lucky, the sole provider of online sports betting in West Virginia, has provided an update to its users. In a tweet made this week, the sportsbook said it is continuing to work on a solution regarding the interruption of services. Bet Lucky and their land-based partners have been down since early March after a dispute with a technology provider.

– From the Fake News Bin: After years of emulating the best of PokerStars, partypoker decides to simply change its name to pokerstars.

– Thursday’s featured Grinderschool poker training video is part 9 of 10 of CFTheNatural’s “What are the Odds” series, which takes a look at some difficult Pot Limit spots. In this episode, CFTheNatrual examines the considerations of your opponent when you have a strong but not a nutted hand.

Best poker videos on the Web

– Day 2 continues from the partypoker MILLIONS South America Main Event:

Watch live video from partypokerTV on www.twitch.tv

JNandezPoker provides highlights from Days 20 and 21 of his $100,000 Challenge:

– Watch highlights of the $64,000 Short Deck Ante-Only from the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju from earlier this month: